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seeking networking/wall fishing advice for a basic computer network

seeking networking/wall fishing advice for a basic computer network


  #1  
Old 11-28-08, 02:40 PM
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Red face seeking networking/wall fishing advice for a basic computer network

Hi. I'm seeking advice/tips for re-wiring my home computer network.

Background: I have minimal handyman experience (and even less computer networking knowledge), but several years ago, I managed to set up the following in my home office: a cable modem, which connects to a US Robotics Router, which then connects to an 8-port switch. I've also installed wall jacks in 2 other rooms, and then connected those rooms to my switch via CAT5e that I fished through the walls. (Because my house has a lousy setup, routing my cables through the attic was not an option. Therefore, I had to do everything from the crawl space.)

Well, the home office now needs to become a bedroom for our youngest child. So, I need to relocate the network components to another room.

At this point, I'm thinking about putting the modem/router/switch in my laundry room--particularly because that room already has its own outlet.

For the new setup, I want to run a total of six cables (ie, five CAT5e and one coax) to the laundry room. I don't plan to run lines for anything else (eg, phone, video, etc) to this laundry room.

Please see some pics of my laundry room as it currently exists. (The blue tape marks the studs.)





I'd appreciate any tips/suggestions you might have regarding how/where to situate the devices.

I also have a few sets of questions:

1) Where to cut into the laundry room wall:
Where on the wall do you suggest I cut the hole for the 6 cables? Is there a minimum distance I should stay from the outlet to avoid electrical interference? Also, it seems that most people situate their cables fairly high (>4 feet) off the ground, so I'm wondering if (and why) I should do this, too? Isn't it easier to fish all these wires when the hole is lower to the ground?

2) Wall plate? Patch Panel? Something else??
Once I cut into the wall, I'm unsure of the best way to route the cables through the hole. I'm guessing that some people use something like this:

If so, how do you seal it to minimize air leaks?
Also, should I use a patch panel? I have confession to make: I haven't been able to really figure out exactly what a patch panel is and what it would buy me, but most people seem to use one.

3) Drilling up the wall from the crawl space:
If I try to run all 6 cables through a single hole from below, I'd imagine I'd need to use a fairly large drill bit. I guess I'm nervous that that this might compromise the structural integrity of the wood? Any idea how big of a hole I should drill for my coax & CAT5e cables? Also, do I need to be aware of any limitations (eg, "max number of CAT5e cables to run through a single hole")? Lastly, once the cables are in place, how do you seal the resulting air gaps if the hole is bigger than the cables? I'm particularly concerned about termites and other insects making their way up and into the house.

Thanks very much for your patience with my inexperience!
 
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Old 11-28-08, 04:25 PM
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I would put a shelf in the corner above the washing machine. You can still cut the hole close to the floor if it's easier to run the wires and use wire mold to hide it. The wall plate shown in the picture is fine.
 
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Old 11-28-08, 04:54 PM
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Use this to dress up cables.
Wiremold Publigen

Use spray foam for hole filling
Spray Foam Foam Cans and Kits for Insulation and Air Sealing - SprayFoam.com

Drilling holes in bearing stud walls
What is the maximum hole that can be drilled in 2x4 studs in load bearing walls for wiring or pluming?
http://www.ci.monrovia.ca.us/documen...ring_studs.pdf

FYI Home Energy conservation DIY check list
1. Insulation, and air infiltration
2. Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP),
3. Active and passive Solar Thermal (ST) whole house heating,
4. Thorough heating, ventilation, air condition (HVAC) practices, and
5. Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) new home construction
 
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Old 11-28-08, 05:45 PM
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I would put the hole in between the middle of the studs. Use a low voltage ring to mount a face plate to. That will help seal the hole. You can get up to 6 jacks on 1 single gang plate or 12 on a 2 gang plate

Low voltage ring: Product Information Error Page

Face plate: Product Information Error Page

A 7/8' hole should be plenty big but you can always drill two next to each other.
 
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Old 11-28-08, 06:45 PM
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Have you considered wireless?
 
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Old 11-28-08, 06:50 PM
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Only use wireless at last resort.
 
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Old 11-28-08, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ByteWrangler View Post
Have you considered wireless?
We're currently using wireless, but only as a last resort.
 
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Old 11-28-08, 07:17 PM
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by Pulpo View Post
Only use wireless at last resort.
I couldn't have said it better myself.
 
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Old 11-28-08, 07:39 PM
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OK... I find it works well here, but carry on.

Beer 4U2
 
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Old 11-29-08, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by must_golf_more View Post
3) Drilling up the wall from the crawl space:
If I try to run all 6 cables through a single hole from below, I'd imagine I'd need to use a fairly large drill bit. I guess I'm nervous that that this might compromise the structural integrity of the wood?
Floors -- including the 2x4's or 2x6's under walls -- are not structural supports, so you can drill as large a hole as you need. Probably 1.5 inches or so. (There's a formula ... circumference of all the low-voltage cables in inches divided by 3.1416 equals the drill bit size needed plus 1/4 inch.)

Joists and studs are another story.
 
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Old 11-29-08, 02:20 PM
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Patch Panels:
CAT5e Wall Mount Patch Panel - 12 Port - ComputerCableStore.com

They don't rate that one at gigabit and I'm not sure why. cat5e, if properly terminated, can support 1000mbs.... If you go the patch panel route, just make sure it will handle gigabit.

That's what you would terminate all your cat5 to at your router location. Really only good in a utility closet or basement area. Then you make X number of patch cords to plug into it and then plug into your router and switch.

When I wire complete houses I mount a piece of plywood in the basement somewhere and then run all my ethernet, phone and coax lines to the 'utility panel'. Then terminate everything to a patch panel (ethernet), 66 or 110 block (phone) and spliters/amplifiers for the coax. I always pick an area that has an existing shelf or somewhere 'nice' to keep all your equipment. Then punch in a dedicated 120v line to feed 2 or 3 duplex receptacles to power said equipment.

But in an old work situation, your probably better off using keystone jacks, face plates and old work low-voltage rings for everything. Will be more expensive than the patch panel route but looks awfull pretty...

So, in my house, I have a 6 hole faceplate mounted to a single gang low voltage ring. It has 4 ethernet jacks, one phone and one coax. That's my router location. Have blue, red, green and purple ethernet jacks. The phone is white. Coax is white.

Then in each room, I just have an ethernet jack, phone jack and coax jack mounted on a 3 hole faceplate. I use coresponding colored ethernet jacks so I don't have to label anything. I know red is the attic, blue my living room, green is the bedroom and purple is the dining room. Works out really nice but all those jacks really start to add up...

I'm a fan of wired as well. It will always be faster than wireless. More secure too. I have a wireless N router but I just keep it completely disabled in the router config. 'N' still doesn't beat gigabit.
 
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Old 11-29-08, 02:42 PM
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BTW, they have keystone jacks on that same site.

CAT5E Keystone Jacks - Keystone Jacks - Page 1 - ComputerCableStore.com

Bout the cheapest prices I've seen anywhere. They also look to be leviton. Can't say for sure tho...

Wall plates....

http://www.computercablestore.com/In...catID1909.aspx

yadaa, yadaa
 
 

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